On This Day In History: 16th May

On This Day In History: 16th May

Today’s on this day in history sees us re-cap Thursday evening’s Supersport, Superstock, Super Twin race action at last year’s North West 200.

Following last May’s competition on the fabled Triangle course, I put together an article detailing intriguing facts, stats from the aforementioned races, which reads as follows:

Sole Triumph mounted racer to finish the Tides Restaurant Supersport race, was RAF Regular & Reserves backed Gary Johnson. Johnson also jointly topped the speed trap timing’s on the approach to University, setting a quickest speed of 177.7 mph, that was also matched by PreZ Racing’s Jamie Coward.

In total 20 competitors nudged past the 170 mph barrier, with Matt Rees and Daley Mathison each exactly nudging the 170 mph mark.

26 riders topped the 110 mph lap mark, during the six lap race, including newcomers Nathan Harrison and Joe Loughlin. Just eight of the 33 race finishers, finished on the lead lap.

Whilst Lee Johnston’s race victory, was not only his fourth Triangle course success, it’s also his first International roads success, since the second Supersport encounter from the 2015 Ulster Grand Prix.

Buildbase Suzuki’s Richard Cooper, pace on route to an excellent top six placing within the Bayview Hotel Superstock race, was so potent that in the process he officially became the quickest NW200 newcomer in history!

The fourth lap of the opening Superstock encounter, saw Darley Moor specialist Cooper set a best lap time of 4 minutes 27.631 seconds, equating in mph terms to an average speed of 120.659 mph.

Winner of last night’s Superstock race, Peter Hickman’s successful stint aboard the Smiths BMW, took his total of NW200 triumphs into triple figures, plus raised his already impressive International roads victories total, to 13.

To put into context, how good a record this is to hold, Hickman has only been competing on the roads for six years, since first joining the International roads fraternity in 2014 at the North West.

Third behind Hickman, in Thursday’s Superstock race, it’s easy to underestimate how good a performance it was from Michael Dunlop.

Prior to the NW200, the Ballymoney racer hasn’t competed at any race meeting, whether it be short circuit or roads based.

Despite the lack of track time, in comparison to his respected rivals, it’s made it seems no difference at all to the 18 times TT winner, who continues to prove that the impossible is possible.

Photo by Rod Neill

Stefano Bonetti’s memorable MCL Insure Tech Super Twins victory, makes him not only Italy’s first North West 200 winner, he’s also his nations first International roads winner of the 21st century.

Following Bonetti’s popular victory, Paton have now enjoyed success at the ‘Big Three’ International roads events, the NW200, Ulster GP and TT Races.

Opening Twins race runner up Jamie Coward, finished no lower than seventh in all of Thursday night’s Triangle course encounters.

Hebden Bridge’s finished third on the Super Twins speed trap times sheet, hitting the 163 mph mark. Heading the Twins class speed trap timing’s in front of Coward and class pace setter Bonetti, was KMR Kawasaki’s Michael Rutter, with a best speed of 165.8 mph.

2015 NW200 Race Day:

We must mention as well that today also marks race day of the 2015 North West 200 which saw race wins go to Ashcourt Racing’s Lee Johnston, three time event winner Jeremy McWilliams and NW200 wins record holder Alastair Seeley.

Glenn Irwin joined the International road race podium finishers circle for the first time whilst Ian Hutchinson piloting the Paul Bird Motorsport Kawasaki’s returned to form, banking a brace of top three finishes.

Words by Stevie Rial

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